Undergraduate ambassador Daniel shares his top tips for managing your mental health and wellbeing as a university student.
Whether you are new to university, enjoying your first year as an independent adult, or a finalist getting ready for exams, mental health, and wellbeing is something that always has to be looked out for and can be maintained and nourished through simple steps and activities.
Sometimes life can get a bit tough though, and simple steps may no longer look that simple to you and the stress of your social and uni life can get on top of you. Not to worry; I am going to give you some tips and tricks on how to manage your mental health and wellbeing as a university student, ranging from interpersonal disciplines to external support.
Throughout my years as a student, I have found keeping active to be the number one ingredient in keeping your mind and body healthy. Now, you may think that “keeping active” means doing sports, going to the gym, and so forth, but that is not the case. It really comes down to you and what floats your boat – a simple leisurely stroll can already be a huge step in clearing your mind and elevating those happy feelings. What is a better feeling than fresh air hitting your face?
The University campus offers a plethora of opportunities, from the sports hub to societies. The sports hub is a great way to keep physically active, where you can stretch those legs and go for a run on a treadmill in the gym, or even go climbing Mount Everest (not quite, but the climbing wall will do). Personally, I am a big fan of the gym – apart from working out, it also clears my mind, gives my brain some time off academics and the constant churning, and elevates my mood as a whole.
Another great way to keep active and at the same time keep your social side happy, are societies. Whether you are someone who enjoys pursuing academics in your free time or rather socialises and is just looking for a bit of fun, there is definitely something for you (there are like 300 societies, so don’t you worry!). I myself enjoy a bit of a break from academics and just prefer meeting people, having a chat, and going for some drinks. Societies regularly host events and also have exec positions for those of you who are keen on climbing the ladder!
Sleeping and eating
I know university can sometimes get a bit hectic with all those social events while also staying on top of your university work, and here and there forgetting to have a proper meal or sleeping enough can happen easily. I have been there…
But, eating well and sleeping enough is very important for both mind and body and can really boost your energy and charge your social battery. It is recommended to sleep around 7-8 hours a day, and while some can manage less, don’t use this as an excuse. It will catch up to you! If you are having trouble falling asleep try to implement some sort of routine before bed; this will help your brain to calm down and get ready for that well-deserved sleep!
But before you do that, do make sure to have a proper dinner – I have found my love for cooking at university. While it may seem time-consuming and annoying at times, try to look at it from a different view, like self-expression through food. I think it is a great way to let your creativity flow (albeit sometimes I will just chuck a frozen pizza in the oven). And don’t forget to have your five a day: some fruits, and some veg.
Sometimes life can get quite tough, whether this is due to personal issues or uni stress getting to you. Talking to friends and family is a good start, however, it is very understandable if you might not be comfortable sharing this information with anyone but an expert.
If you are struggling with mental health and need support, the university is offering a wellbeing service, which you can find online, book sessions, and speak to professionals. They offer a wide set of different services, ranging from a 5 week wellbeing program in which you learn new skills and strategies to cope with student life, to email therapy, therapy groups, disability support, and more.
I hope you enjoyed reading my blog and were able to take a few things away from this. University is an exciting step in your early adult life and should be spent making great memories. So please; keep active, sleep, and eat well, and if in need, reach out to support made available by the university!
If you would like more advice regarding balancing your university lifestyle or would like to read more about the well-being resources available at Warwick please see here.